Facebook giving paid leave to domestic violence, sexual assault victims

COO Sheryl Sandberg announced the new policy, which gives employees 20 paid days

Facebook employees who are victims of domestic violence or sexual assault will now have paid time off.

Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg announced the new policy Wednesday during a panel discussion of the Bloomberg Equality Summit, according to Bloomberg.

Sandberg also announced the updated policy in a Facebook post on Wednesday, where she explained that the policy is available to all employees globally who “need time to get the support they need.”

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According to her post, Facebook is offering up to 20 days of paid leave to any employee who is a victim of domestic violence or sexual abuse, or if they have a relative who experiences that abuse.

“This could be seeking medical attention, or support from a domestic abuse shelter, victims’ services organization or rape crisis center, or to relocate temporarily or permanently if they need to,” Sandberg wrote.

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg (pictured in 2019) announced Facebook's new paid leave policy for employees who are victims of domestic violence or sexual assault on Wednesday. (REUTERS/Yana Paskova)

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According to Bloomberg, Facebook had previously offered unpaid leave to employees who were victims of domestic violence, but it was only available to workers in the U.S. who had experienced the abuse themselves.

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The magazine reported that the new policy requires employees to tell their managers they need to take emergency leave, but they won’t be expected to explain why.

“This is us really recognizing that this is something that affects everyone, including our employees,” Sandberg during Wednesday’s panel, per Bloomberg. “It’s a situation where you need paid time off, and not just for yourself but for a loved one.”

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Domestic violence has increased by at least 8.1% in the U.S. during the coronavirus pandemic, according to a report from the National Commission on COVID-19 and Criminal Justice, Fox News previously reported.

However, the number could be higher because more incidents may be happening behind closed doors during stay-at-home orders and any friends and family who may have otherwise reported those incidents were likely not around to witness them.

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Fox News’ Michael Bartiromo contributed to this report.